10
votes
2answers
180 views

Why is »ß« substituted with »ss« rather than »sz«?

The letter ß is called Eszett, literally meaning s z. However, when the letter is not available (or when a word is in all caps), ß is almost always substituted by the digraph ss rather than sz (e.g. ...
14
votes
5answers
532 views

Is it an error when I do not use ß when it is necessary?

I'm living in a German-speaking country where ß is not used at all. Therefore, I do not use ß when I write German texts. Now I'm asking myself if this is technically a spelling error? Or is the ß more ...
7
votes
4answers
953 views

Is the eszett (ß) used in last names?

My grandparents last name is Reiss and I was wondering if they lived in Germany would this be spelled with the German ß (szett or sharp s)?
10
votes
3answers
305 views

What caused “ss” to gain popularity over “ß” in the 19th century?

From Google Books' Ngram Viewer: Notice that the "hasst" form gained popularity towards the end of the 19th century, only to drop again in favor of "haßt" later on. I noticed the same pattern on ...
20
votes
4answers
898 views

Is there a rule that dictates whether to use the eszett (scharfes S) or double s?

It's clear in the case of compound nouns, double s should be used e.g. Bundesstraße, but with other words I cannot see a pattern. To me it appears to be used somewhat randomly, e.g.: besser ...